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Saint Joseph man found unresponsive in the water died of natural causes

The 58-year-old died on his birthday.

A medical examiner has ruled that a man found unresponsive in the water of a popular northeast Minnesota lake died of natural causes. 

According to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, 58-year-old Darrell Pfannenstein, of St. Joseph, Minnesota, died of natural causes Tuesday, July 2 after being found lying next to a jet ski on Lake Vermilion. 

A resident had seen Pfannenstein standing in the water next to his jet ski, attempting to get back on. The resident offered to help but Pfannenstein declined. 

A short time later he was seen walking in the water towards the shore, and the same resident decided to boat over and offer help again. As he approached, he found Pfannenstein face down and unresponsive in the water.

Pfannenstein, who was wearing a life jacket, was taken to shore where he was pronouncd dead after life-saving efforts were unsuccessful. 

A drowning was suspected as a possible cause of death, but the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office determined that he died of natural causes. 

According to his obituary, Pfannenstein died on his birthday. He was born July 2, 1961 in St. Joseph. 

"Darrell enjoyed spending time scuba diving, hunting, jet skiing, snowmobiling, autobody work on cars. He especially loved the time spent with his family and friends," his obituary says. 

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